Deep Album Cuts Vol. 32: Blink-182

A couple weeks ago, I ran down my favorite deep cuts by The Black Crowes, a band whose recent breakup has been more interesting than any music they've made in years. And now here's another one, with the recent news that Tom DeLonge is out of Blink-182 (by his choice or not, depending on who you believe). DeLonge has always been a odd, off-putting guy with kind of an unpleasant voice, but his contributions ot the band were absolutely essential to who they are. So while I can kind of understand Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker wanting to do shows without this guy who's being so difficult to be in a band with, I can't imagine they'll ever do anything without him that will even feel remotely like a true Blink-182 record. So, a good time to look back at their catalog.

After Green Day made bratty punk pop a multi-platinum phenomenon, Blink 182 were the even more puerile successors that made Green Day seem kind of sophisticated and dignified by comparison, the Adam Sandler to their Mike Myers. But there was also this idiot savant quality to their songs, which seemed sloppily welded together but were also just incredibly catchy and brutally effective. Blink-182 is one of those weird bands where English is their first language but you can barely tell from their lyrics -- Tom is mostly guilty of this but even Mark sings things like "you're my source of most frustration."

Blink-182 Deep Album Cuts (Spotify playlist): 

1. TV
2. Toast And Bananas
3. A New Hope
4. Pathetic
5. Emo
6. Enthused
7. Don't Leave Me
8. Aliens Exist
9. The Party Song
10. Going Away To College
11. Anthem
12. Anthem Part Two
13. Online Songs
14. Story Of A Lonely Guy
15. Please Take Me Home
16. Violence
17. Stockholm Syndrome
18. The Fallen Interlude
19. Asthenia
20. Easy Target
21. All Of This (featuring Robert Smith)
22. Heart's All Gone Interlude
23. Heart's All Gone
24. Wishing Well
25. Dogs Eating Dogs
26. When I Was Young

Tracks 1 and 2 from Cheshire Cat (1995)
Tracks 3, 4, 5 and 6 from Dude Ranch (1997)
Tracks 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 from Enema of the State (1999)
Tracks 12, 13, 14 and 15 from Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001)
Tracks 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21 from Blink-182 (2003)
Tracks 22, 23 and 24 from Neighborhoods (2011)
Tracks 25 and 26 from Dogs Eating Dogs EP (2012)

This is the most songs I've ever fit into my (admittedly quaint) mix CD-style 80-minute time limit for these playlists (the most songs I'd ever had in the past was 24 for the George Jones one). I don't often do these things in chronological order, but this is one of those bands where it was the only way it really made sense. It would sound too bizarre to leap into the later stuff without establishing how many straight ahead pop punk barn burners they did before mixing up their sound a bit. Outside of "What's My Age Again?" and some of their videos I'd been spared most of the band's penchant for bathroom humor by not listening much to their earlier albums, but wow, these guys really are gross.

Their 2003 self-titled album has long been a source of fascination for me, and I eventually named it my 68th favorite album of the 2000s. Most of that is down to Travis Barker, who joined before Enema of the State and made them a better and tighter band, and eventually a much more interesting one. The self-titled album is probably the biggest leap into arty weirdness a mainstream band has ever made without suffering a downturn in sales, gaining critical respectability, or both. It was a very odd album that was accepted by the marketplace as more or less business as usual, with drum'n'bass interludes and dramatic monologues and a cameo by The Cure's Robert Smith and all these odd downtempo grooves, with liberal amounts of the band's remaining pop punk DNA mixed in. It's pretty nuts. And meat-and-potatoes rock bands getting dragged into something stranger and more rhythmically varied is a topic that's always fascinated me (shout out to Jack Irons-era Pearl Jam). The album and EP that the briefly reunited Blink made later on retain a little bit of that strange new fusion, but not quite enough to maintain that unique spark.

Previous playlists in the Deep Album Cuts series:
Vol. 1: Brandy
Vol. 2: Whitney Houston
Vol. 3: Madonna
Vol. 4: My Chemical Romance
Vol. 5: Brad Paisley
Vol. 6: George Jones
Vol. 7: The Doors
Vol. 8: Jay-Z
Vol. 9: Robin Thicke
Vol. 10: R. Kelly
Vol. 11: Fall Out Boy
Vol. 12: TLC
Vol. 13: Pink
Vol. 14: Queen
Vol. 15: Steely Dan
Vol. 16: Trick Daddy
Vol. 17: Paramore
Vol. 18: Elton John
Vol. 19: Missy Elliott
Vol. 20: Mariah Carey
Vol. 21: The Pretenders
Vol. 22: "Weird Al" Yankovic
Vol. 23: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Vol. 24: Foo Fighters
Vol. 25: Counting Crows
Vol. 26: T.I.
Vol. 27: Jackson Browne
Vol. 28: Usher
Vol. 29: Mary J. Blige
Vol. 30: The Black Crowes
Vol. 31: Ne-Yo
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